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General Santa Ana, commander of the Mexican forces at the battle of Cerro Gordo, was forced to flee the field and abandoned his own baggage in the process. Having only one leg, Santa Ana used a wooden leg. Most such substitutes for legs were little more that slender sticks, since anything more substantial also weighed enough more to tire the wearer quickly. Santa Ana favored a special light-weight leg made of cork that filled out the stockings and tight pantaloons in fashion at the time. After the battle, American troops found Santa Ana's personal carriage abandoned on the battlefield and discovered in it the general's personal wardrobe, $70,000 of silver to pay his troops, and his favorite leg. Of all of this, it was the leg that caught the fancy of the American troops, and they immortalized it in this song, more or less a parody of "The Girl I Left Behind Me."

I am stumpless quite since from the shot
Of Cerro Gordo peggin',
I left behind, to pay Gen. Scott,
My grub, and gave my leg in.

I dare not turn to view the place
Lest Yankee foes should find me,
And mocking shake before my face
The Leg I Left Behind Me.

At Buena Vista l was sure
That Yankee troops must surrender,
And bade my men hurrah, for you're
All going on a bender.

That all my hopes and plans were dashed,
My scattered troops remind me,
But though I there got soundly thrashed,
l left no leg behind me.

Should Gen. Taylor of my track get scent,
Or Gen Scott beat up my quarters,
I may as well just be content
To go across the waters.

But should that my fortune be,
Fate has not quite resigned me
For in the museum I will see
The Leg I Left Behind Me.

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